Despite the recent claim of “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” the Albanian Orthodox Church has not changed its stance concerning the Ukrainian schism at all, according to the office of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios.
“Metropolitan” Epiphany recently stated on Ukrainian television that several Local Churches are on the way to recognizing his OCU, including the Churches of Georgia, Jerusalem, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania, indicating that they could follow the example of the Cypriot Church, where the primate unilaterally declared recognition and the Synod chose to passively accept his decision.
However, OrthoChristian reached out to the office of Abp. Anastasios of Albania for comment and was informed that Dumenko’s claim is baseless, as nothing has changed on the part of the Albanian Archbishop or Synod.
His Beatitude and the Synod have made several strong statements critiquing Constantinople’s unilateral actions in Ukraine, including in letters to Patriarch Bartholomew himself.
“I’m surprised to hear this news,” the representative of the Archbishop’s office said. “I don’t know where this is coming from.”
“The Albanian Church’s Synod has not made a decision about this [recognizing the OCU—Ed.],” he explained. “Everything that has to do with this issue is on our website, including the statements our Church has made before. There is nothing new to add. Also, you can see there the views that the Archbishop gave, and there you have the thoughts of the Orthodox Church about this issue,” the Church representative again emphasized.
“There is nothing new; nothing has changed from that,” he concluded.
Dumenko’s claim has also been refuted by the personal advisor to His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania on inter-Church relations and His Eminence Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech of the Bulgarian Church. Georgian theologian Mamuka Putkaradze, who favors recognizing the OCU, has also said that the Georgian Synod makes decisions by consensus, and no such consensus exists for recognizing the OCU.